Didn't Indonesia break away from the dutch empire?
- Indonesia didn't join the Dutch empire voluntarily through a referendum. It was subjugated by force.
- Indonesia was never given an exit mechanism a la article 50.
- Dutch rule of Indonesia (like British rule in India) did not abide by international human rights - or any human rights conventions. Can you sincerely say that about the EU?
- Indonesia did not have any degree of self-rule. Nothing even remotely comparable to the UK in the EU.
- There were/are no imperial EU troops wreaking havoc on "inferior" races in the UK.
Let's not conflate EU membership with colonialism. I know the rose tinted nostalgia for empire is strong with Brexiteers, but unlike the EU, which is predicated on human rights and equality amongst other things, Dutch (or U.K.) colonialism was based on outright racism and economic exploitation. That Britain or the Netherlands managed to create a legal and moral framework to justify what we today consider pathetic behaviour does not make their respective empires legal entities that countries "broke away" from. More like armed bandits who stormed and looted a house till they were eventually kicked out.
You may not see it that way. Negotiators from former colonies do. Which is why you're best off dropping these types of silly comparison. Those former colonies do not take kindly to the notion that Brexit is in anyway comparable to what they were subjected to.
On the other hand, if EU troops massacre unarmed civilians (including women and children) like that great British hero, General Dyer, the former colonies will rally around the U.K. pretty fast. Just can't see that happening though. That was British colonial thinking. The EU isn't like that.